Sony Pictures Entertainment general counsel Leah Weil has retired

Sony Pictures Entertainment General Counsel Leah Weil is leaving her role after nearly three decades at the company.

The longtime senior executive vice president is the studio’s most senior legal advisor with oversight of film and television production, acquisitions and distribution, media networks, digital content creation and distribution, studio facility operations and development of new entertainment offerings.

According to a memo to staff Tuesday from Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Tony Vinciquerra, Weil will continue to serve as the studio’s general counsel for the next several months and support the transition to her successor, who has yet to be named.

Among her most notable accomplishments at Sony is Weil’s oversight of the landmark deal with Marvel for the rights to Spider-Man, which remains Sony’s most important and valuable IP.

Other highlights of her tenure, including leading the restructuring of the Mandalay Pictures deal and acquisition of MGM in the 1990s, as well as the more recent acquisitions of Crunchyroll, Industrial Media and Pixomondo, navigating the response to the infamous cyberattack on Sony in 2014 and leading guild negotiations on the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA deals.

Weil began working at Sony Pictures Entertainment in 1996. During her tenure at the company, she became a member of the MPA Board of Directors and was named to Variety’s Power Dealmakers list several times, among other honors.

“I’m really happy to say that I struggled with this decision,” Weil wrote in his own memo to Sony staff on Tuesday. “Although there has never been a ‘good’ time to leave, I feel it is the right time in my life to make this transition. I’ll greatly miss being an active part of the community we’ve built, but I’m excited about the future and the time to turn my attention to things and relationships that have so often been pushed aside while I’ve focused on the press at work.”

Read Vinciquerra’s announcement about Weil’s retirement below.

After a distinguished 28-year career, Leah Weil has made the decision to step down from her role as General Counsel and move into a consulting role.

Leah really doesn’t like getting patted on the back, so let me do it…

First, it’s hard to imagine SPE without Leah as our GC. For many of us, Leah has always been there; a wise and trusted partner, offering invaluable advice and counsel and leading the legal, regulatory and compliance strategies for some of SPE’s greatest challenges and successes.

Leah joined the legal team at Sony Pictures in 1996. With her exceptional intellect, work ethic and well-earned reputation, Leah quickly rose to the top position in the legal group. And during her time as GC, she transformed the entire legal operation into a fully integrated and essential part of our overall business. A snapshot of Leah’s portfolio and oversight illustrates how deeply woven into the fabric of SPE Leah is. In addition to her responsibility for all internal and external legal matters related to SPE’s global operations, Leah also leads our Ethics & Compliance and Labor Relations teams, SPE’s Music Affairs Group and the Global Policy and External Relations function, which includes our Corporate Social Responsibility group responsible for managing the studio’s strategic philanthropic efforts and community outreach activities.

And in her nearly three decades at SPE, Leah has truly seen it all. From leading our efforts on historic and transformative deals, playing a key role in hundreds of projects and strategic initiatives, playing an integral part in the studio’s transformation into the digital age, to guiding SPE through challenging crises such as the 2014 cyber attack and the global COVID pandemic, to leading our efforts in the historic and extremely challenging WGA and SAG-AFTRA negotiations this year, overseeing and executing the myriad day-to-day transactions that are critical to keeping our entire business thriving.

Leah will continue to serve as GC for the next few months and support a smooth transition to her successor. In the coming weeks, we will have an opportunity to celebrate Leah and her many accomplishments, but in the meantime, please join me in thanking Leah for her excellent service and dedication to the studio.

Tony

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